Friday, August 31, 2007

8 Bad tap design

Yes, I am still in Mexico, I had to delay my return to New Zealand for another month. My old landlady kicked me out, so I moved to a student's house near UAG. Yesterday, when I got home, I flushed the loo... and the waterline broke. The water tap was very rusty. The problem was, that it broke just before the valve to close it, so there was no way of containing the water. I yelled to the landlady to come and help me, I told her to close the main valve in front of the house. It is quite common that people remove the leveler from their main valves, just in case some stranger comes and closes the water. That was the case at her house, so there was no way that an old lady could turn it off with bare hands.

After waking up the other tenant and a neighbor, who by the way couldn't close it either. I decided to do a Mc Gyver trick. I asked her to bring me a plastic bag, a towel and a piece of electric cable (I forgot about the duct tape). The lady was very scared, because the flood reached the living room and she had to move some of the furniture. The next day I had to get a plumber very early in the morning. He replaced the old valve in minutes... and the old one, well, it's amazing how worn out it was... and the fact that the weakest part was exactly where it should be stronger. They should have seen that the walls were too thin to stand pressure, wearing out, rust and time.

Anyway, not just the living room of my landlady got flooded. I thought the worse of the rain season was gone, but we still have a dose of daily storms in Guadalajara... and floodings around the city are common. Although the city has an altitude of 1600 mt. we could use this Dutch idea for floating houses. Climate change is a serious matter, the micro-climate of Atemajac Valley has dramatically changed over the last decade and the usual storms have become really nasty lately. Maybe we'll see someday futuristic cities rising over waters like modern Venices. I can imagine skyscrapers over the sea with some kind of dwelling-wharfs for interchangeable house units... or floating suburbs. Check out the video (via treehugger) It's amazing.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Mutisensory room

Hi again! I haven't posted anything in almost a month! That means I've been very busy. Our standers are finally packed and ready to go, special kiwi's sales teamand we had a meeting with our Special Kiwis' Sales Team last week to finally start promoting our products. We want to use special castors for our new stander, but there was a difficulty attaching the wheels to the frame. We had to figure out a cheap and easy way of fixing them. Alvaro, one of my former students, who's doing his professional practices (internship) with us, came out with a clever idea, but we still need to implement it.

mutisensory room, DIF El Sauz, Guadalajara, MexicoWe also had some difficulties with the mutisensory room for DIF Guadalajara. We got lost in bureaucracy for a couple of weeks, and then when the technicians finally came to finish up the room, some of the equipment was installed incorrectly. Now that everyone is back on track again, things are looking so much better. The room was supposed to be finished yesterday... (literally) I can't tell, because I spent yesterday's morning looking for an apartment to live for the next month. My previous landlady didn't want to keep me this month because she is looking for a student to stay for a whole semester (I was there during the summer holidays). Anyway, after I found a new place to live and moved my things in, I went to El Sauz to supervise the finishing of the room... but the painters were gone. They probably went to have something to eat, because they left some of the equipments on the halls... but the doors were closed. Tomorrow we'll do a final check and put some of the more delicate equipment, like: projectors, fibre optics, etc. By the way, the fibre optics are hallucinatingly breathtaking! We did some tests on friday... and we couldn't have enough staring at the lights. Now I know why they have a therapeutic effect on the patients of multisensory environments.

Speaking of snoezelen,
the International Snoezelen Association (ISNA) invites you to the 5th international symposium, which will be held in Montreal on September 20 and 21, 2007. The ISNA is an independent organization which allows people to share their knowledge about Snoezelen by promoting education, by supporting the research and by favoring cooperation. For those who are unfamiliar with Snoezelen, you must know that it is something that you live for yourself: your senses are stimulated by sounds, light effects, odors and textures. This approach has been elaborated for people with or without mental health problem, physical or intellectual disability. For more information, visit :

The concept of Snoezelen was defined in the late 1970s by two Dutch psychiatrists Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheul after an experimental sensory tent at their annual summer fair at the Hartenberg institute in Holland, a center for people with intellectual disabilities.

The word "Snoezelen" is a contraction of the Dutch words:

"Snuffelen" : (to seek out, to explore)
and "doezelen" : (to relax)

I hope to have some spare time to post regularly again.

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